She is his strength and he is her weakness. And this time he won’t let her go.
Edie Evans is gorgeous.
She’s also the definition of off-limits.
But that didn’t stop me from sneaking into her room to comfort her at night.
But guys like me? We destroy everything, so it should have been no surprise when I destroyed us, too.
The night I sent her running, I thought I’d never see her again.
Until I saw her standing like a vision in the crowd.
Austin Stone is dangerous.
He broke my heart and I refused to give him the chance to do it again.
It’s been years since I’ve seen him, and now I can’t do anything but stare at the gorgeous, tattooed man playing onstage. I should run. I know I should. But like a fool, I run straight back to him.
Our desire is overpowering.
Our need unrelenting.
She is my hope.
He is my weakness.
We should have known a passion this intense would burn us right into the ground.
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I gripped the railing as if it might propel me forward. Instead, my footsteps faltered and slowed. I stood facing away, my back heaving as his consuming presence swarmed over me from behind.
“Please.” This time it was a whisper. A plea.
Slowly I turned.
He’d always been my weakness.
Austin stood at the end of the walkway, just outside the reach of the lights, his body obscured in shadows.
Even larger than I’d imagined when I’d first seen him up on stage.
My heart ached. Because I was looking at the boy who’d been my best friend. The one person who I’d thought would completely understand. One who wouldn’t judge or make it hurt more than it already did.
He’d been my safety.
Until he’d dragged me right back into hell.
“Why are you here?” My words cracked. “H-h-how…how did you find me?”
I saw the shake of his head, and he took a single step forward, out of the shadows and into the glow of the single lamp attached high on the exterior wall that lit the way.
It hit him like a spotlight.
The boy was so beautiful.
It was a threatening kind of beauty, a whorl of mystery and pain, sharp lines and corded muscle.
It almost dropped me to my knees.
He fisted his hands at his sides. The question was strained, hard as it pressed from his mouth. “You believe in fate, Edie?”
Old grief I’d bottled for so long burst. It came out as some kind of maniacal cry. Incredulous. Oozing disbelief. “After everything that happened…that’s what you’re going to ask me?”
“Do you have any idea how badly you hurt me?” I cut him off, my own hands fisting as I took a single step forward. “The damage you caused? Careless words, Austin. So fucking careless, thrown out there without a single thought to the repercussions, without any consideration of how they would affect me. How they would change my life. You promised.” My brow twisted with the accusation. “And now you have the nerve to stand there and ask me if I believe in fate?”
I swallowed hard, shook my head. “You can go to straight to hell, Austin Stone.”
He laughed, but there was zero humor behind it. “Come on, Edie. You can do better than that, can’t you? Considering you know hell is where I’ve been all along, and you and I both know I deserve so much worse. And yeah…those words were reckless, but you know they weren’t heedless. You couldn’t expect me to just stand there. Not with him. Not with what he was saying. Implying. I couldn’t.” The last cracked on the emphasis.
I felt as if every cell in my body was being crushed. Squeezed so tight there was no chance but for everything to implode.
“And because you lost it, I lost it all. You. My home. My future.”
About the Author:
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installments, WAIT and STAY, coming in 2016.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://bit.ly/NewsFromALJackson or text “jackson” to 96000 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
Connect with A.L. Jackson online:www.aljacksonauthor.com
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